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Reliability is not so common – Sometimes people let you down and fail to provide you with advance notice

Written by Easter Becker-Smith. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on August 05, 2015 with No Comments

There is a humorous quote that says, “common sense isn’t so common.” We can laugh and know that it is often true. There are also many times when reliability is not so common.

It is frustrating when we are told something will be shipped on a certain date and it is not. It can be aggravating when we expect a repair person to show on a certain day and time and it does not happen then.  These frustrations are part of life that we come to expect. We can let a frustration ruin our day or we can deal with the situation as best as possible and not let the situation overwhelm us.

Sometimes relying too much on the wrong person can be more serious and complicated, though. I recently heard of two young men who thought they had a place to live and found out unexpectedly that their housing had fallen through. One college student scrambled a few days before the semester began to find suitable living arrangements near campus. The other young man had to leave town and move back home with his parents.

Both men had relied and believed in someone who turned out to be not as reliable as they had hoped. Sometimes people let you down and fail to provide you with advance notice.

It is a paradox that we have more ways to communicate today, than we did as little as fifteen years ago, yet our responsibility to communicate on time and be reliable has not seemed to improve. We can phone, email, text or speak in person and that means that we receive many more daily messages than we have ever experienced.

Some people can handle more tasks, projects and messages than others. There is a point with everyone where we can reach information overload or message overload. When that happens, promises made can get lost in the cracks, lost in cyber space, pushed aside or simply forgotten.

In a world where people do not always follow through or do so on time, being reliable at work is extremely valued and important to a company. If you are job interviewing and can give examples of how you were dependable in your last job, you can put yourself ahead of the other candidates. Getting to work on time and taking few sick days is what employers expect. It is not a strong example of reliability. Instead, you need to relate examples of a project you took on and explain how you communicated it well to others, kept to the committed timeline and produced the desired results, to tell a prospective employer what you can do. It says you are reliable and you are an asset to a company.

In life, as well as on the job a great character trait is personal responsibility and reliability. There are times in our lives when we can be more dependable than others. Medical issues and family crisis can greatly affect our ability to be reliable.

I witnessed the personal reliability of my sister last year when her husband was seriously ill and in the hospital.  She was there for him. She also carried her laptop to the hospital and kept up with her work emails and conference calls while her husband rested.

She called me the other day to tell me that her job is being eliminated. She also told me that her boss’ boss called her to say that they want to keep her and will help her find another position within the organization. She has always been a strong leader in her company, going above and beyond and being reliable, without complaining. The corporate executives recognize her high level of personal responsibility and want be able to keep her employed at the company.

What are some things that you can do to increase your reliability?

  1. Know what you can do and know your limitations: Know your personal limitations and know your limitations of authority at work of what you can do and cannot do.
  2. Do not over promise. Instead, under promise and over deliver: It is far better to promise a completion date of a week, but to take only five days; then to promise five days, and not then not finish until a full week has passed.
  3. Be honest with yourself and others: People who are reliable are true to themselves and others.You will be more reliable when you are honest, when you do not over-promise and when you know what you can do and cannot do.

People who are reliable are true to themselves and others.

You will be more reliable when you are honest, when you do not over-promise and when you know what you can do and cannot do. People will trust you more. You will grow personally and professionally as you improve your reliability.

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About Easter Becker-Smith

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Easter Becker-Smith provides coaching for individuals, groups and corporate teams.  She coaches individuals to help them discover their own path to balance and fulfillment in their lives.  She brings her years of experience in business as a highly regarded leader to help companies improve their productivity and efficiency by learning how to better communicate with each other.  Visit her website at www.coacheaster.com.

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